Mark Fields wasn’t expecting to be fired.
He’d been at his organisation for 28 years and had achieved record profits. But last year Fields was asked to move on.
Mark was CEO of Ford. His board are said to have let him go because he didn’t have the skills to lead the company in the age of self-driving cars. He was replaced by Jim Hackett, a director at Ford with close connections to Silicon Valley. Ford’s chair cited a time of unprecedented change as one of the reasons for hiring Hackett, stating that the company needed transformational leadership due to the rise of technology in their industry.
Could we see a story like Mark Fields’ in the charity sector? When we mapped digital skills across UK charities in last year’s Charity Digital Skills Report, leadership emerged as an issue that needs serious attention. 80% of respondents told us they wanted their leadership team to provide a clear vision of digital and what it could help them achieve. And unless boards and leadership teams develop their digital skills, 66% were worried their charities would miss out on opportunities for digital fundraising, and 53% were worried that they would concede ground to competitors, lose touch with their audience and their charity would become irrelevant.
We’re now mapping digital skills again for The Charity Digital Skills Report 2018. We’re really keen to hear from you to find out what has changed, so that we can demonstrate where the sector is at with digital. Charities used last year’s report to make the business case for digital to their boards and leadership teams, and it has been cited as a valuable resource for charities in the House of Lords. We’d love to hear from more charities all over the UK.
Since leadership is key to charities moving ahead with digital, what skills should leaders develop? Here are my top 7.
Charity leaders who take the time to work on these skills will be able to seize the opportunities offered by digital. And they must also develop the open, curious, and collaborative mindset to go with it. The lesson from Mark Fields for charities is that the world is changing rapidly, and leaders must be armed with the right skills to face the future.
Zoe Amar and Skills Platform are currently working on The Charity Digital Skills Report, a free resource to help track where the charity sector is at with digital, helping you benchmark your organisation. Share your views by taking the quick survey to build the report. There are £200 of Amazon vouchers to be won courtesy of Clear Lessons Foundation. All responses must be received by midnight on Friday 16 February 2018.